Caring for Your Leather Items

Leather is one of the most versatile materials and it is one that can never go out of fashion. Besides, most of us have at least a single leather item in our parent’s closet that we have been eyeing for years. Products that are made out of leather- last for years, looks great and offers style, comfort, and more. But, like anything you wear or use, leather items are going to get dirty and besides leather is, essentially, a living material which means it will age over time. Nazifa Tasnim shares how little care goes a long way to extend the life of your leather items much longer than they would last on their own.

Clean your leather items with unscented mild cleansers

Basic leather care is actually a lot simpler than you imagine. Wipe away as much dirt and grime as you can with a dry towel. If, the dirt isn’t clinging to your leather then it will brush away with ease. If there’s still more, use a damp cloth, as the moisture can loosen up the grime and make cleaning simple. For stubborn dirt or grime use unscented soap but focus on the affected area and clean it with a wipe. By all means, do not soak the leather to get the soap and filth off as it is best to avoid getting the leather too wet. Once your leather is clean, lay it out to dry on a flat, dry, cool surface and ensure not to leave it under direct heat, as this can shrink and crack the leather in the process.

Condition your leather items often

Conditioning with Creams and Oils
These products are designed to keep up the appearance and feel of your leather. Apart from creams, leather oils are another leather conditioning option and essentially does the same job of a cream conditioner. These creams and oils can also stave off some of the negative effects that environment might have on your leather, like drying it out to the point of cracking and shrinking. When buying conditioner creams and oils for leather items check for lanolin in the ingredients list. Lanolin is a fatty substance found in sheep’s wool which can softens and moisturize leather. But in case you are going for a rugged look, avoid lanolin conditioners. When applying any polish or conditioner, always test a small area first-let it dry for twenty-four hours, and see what happens. It may seem tedious, but it can keep your shoe from looking different than what you want. Conditioners are also great in removing scratches from leather.

Use polish with moisturizing agents

Shining your shoes is certainly a quick way to make them look sharp, but it doesn’t actually protect or condition the leather at all. While certainly not suggesting against a good polish every now and again try looking for moisturizing agent in polishes. While it is not standard, but is definitely something to look out for, especially if you don’t want to soften up your leather. This leather polish will give your boots (or accessories) a brilliant sheen. Just make sure you carefully match the colour of the polish to the thing you intend to apply it to – or else you could end up with discoloured leather.

Avoid getting leather items drenched in rain

When Waterlogged
If you get caught in the rain, accidentally drop your jacket in a puddle – you need to take extra care while drying the leather. Do not, under any circumstances, use a direct heat source or the sun to dry out your leather. Like human skin, exposure to a great amount of heat can cause leather to dry out, shrink, and potentially crack. Let your leather item lay out on a flat dry surface in a cool room and allow it to dry slowly. By letting the leather dry naturally, you can ensure that it will shrink as little as possible.

Drying your leather items under direct sunlight can result in cracks

Avoiding Sun Exposure
Sunlight is probably leather’s worst enemy. As leather and all animal hides are, essentially, skin, UV rays and heat will do them no good. If you’re fond of your leather and you want it to last for a long time, keep it out of the sun as much as possible. The drying out and cracking of your jackets, shoes, pants, or any other leather item is something that cannot be undone.

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